by Richard Peck
Dial Books, 2016
Richard Peck is a phenomenal writer, and his intent here was write a novel,
" ... addressed to grade-school and middle-school readers. A novel to spark discussion and to open a door to world suddenly living in a whole different era."
He has succeeded in introducing the topic of same-sex marriage in a kind and thoughtful way to his intended audience. Written in the first-person perspective of a rising sixth grader, The Best Man follows young Archer Magill from the end of fifth grade through the beginning of sixth -- through two weddings, bullying, friendship, death, the beginnings of puberty, and wonderful times with his quirky and lovable family. Along the way, he will be the best man in two unforgettable weddings, each of a very different sort. The Best Man is funny and also features Archer's best friend, Lynn,
She was never going to do a lot of peer-grouping with girls. It wasn't her.
"What's that you're drinking?" I inquired.
" A wheat grass smoothie." She wiped off a mustache.
"What's it taste like?"
"Like an open field," she said, "with cow pies."
Then out of nowhere she said, "I'll probably marry Raymond Petrovich. It crossed my mind when he was canceling our absences on e-mail this morning. He's a take-charge guy."
"I thought you weren't ever going to get married," I said, "end of story."
"I was in elementary school when I said that. I've moved on. ..."
This is a story of male role models. You'll love them all. No one tells a story quite like Richard Peck.
This review is of an uncorrected Advance Reader Copy of the book.